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Employment and income status

Employment status

Seventy nine percent of the cohort were unemployed with 10 per cent retired and 11 per cent in some type of employment (Chart 5a).  The employment-unemployment profile is similar to that described in the ESIS 2012 report.

“I just want a job” - Respondent comment

“I wish I was healthy enough to work.” - Respondent comment

“Not enough jobs and need more opportunity for people who are unskilled to gain employment.” - Respondent comment

Employment status for those who have a job

Of those in employment just over half were in casual jobs and 31 per cent were in part time employment.  Seventeen per cent were in full time employment (Chart 5b).

“I have a job however finding work was incredibly difficult. No one wants to hire you without experience, but you are trying to get experience but no one will give you the chance.”  - Respondent comment

Type of employment

For individuals in employment, over a third were employed on a casual basis (39%) with only 30 per cent employed on a permanent or ongoing basis.  Over a quarter of respondents noted that they were employed part time but would prefer longer hours of work (Chart 5c).

“It’s hard to find full-time work – it’s easier to find casual work.” - Respondent comment

“It’s been impossible to find a job – not through lack of trying.  Never in my life have I had such a hard time.” - Respondent comment

Reasons for unemployment

The main reason cited for unemployment was limitations due to health or disability (41%). In just over a third of circumstances, parenting (27%) and caring (10%) responsibilities were cited as reasons for unemployment.  Almost one quarter of respondents said they could not find work (21%) (Chart 5d).

Many participant comments reflected a desire to work, but expressed frustration due to lack of experience preventing entry to the workforce, lack of options that take into account caring responsibilities and the lack of employment options generally.  Poor health was also identified as major contributing factor that restricted access to employment, although many respondents commented that even with compromised health they wanted to work, if they could find a job that would accommodate their needs.

In total, 90 per cent of respondents were in receipt of an income support payment. For those individuals who are unemployed, over one third were in receipt of the Newstart Allowance (34%), 30 per cent were on a Disability Support Payment and 20 per cent were in receipt of the Parenting Payment (single rate) (Chart 6).

“Have poor health which is quite unpredictable at times and requires finding suitable employment and employer. It limits my chances.” - Respondent comment

“Jobs that entail a substantial amount of stress are difficult due to my condition (biopolar disorder) – but I want to work and can work.”  - Respondent comment


Income Support

In comparison to the ESIS 2012 report, ESIS 2013 saw a 19% rise in the number of respondents in receipt of the Newstart Allowance, which may be attributed to recent legislative changes impacting parents and those with disabilities.

“I currently am seeking part time work however salary will need to cover daycare/ afterschool care for 4 children (3 school aged, 1 toddler).” - Respondent comment